Archive - Smashbox

The Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Lacquers: Some Legends Last, and Some Don’t

Published in: Lips, Makeup, Product Reviews, Smashbox

Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer

Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer, $24 each (available in 20 shades)

“Gather round, young’ns,” said granny Karen, “and let me tell you the story of a long-wearing lip lacquer so shiny, so smooth, so long-lasting and revered that it was legendary!”

I can see it now…the spunky granny version of myself telling the story of Smashbox’s Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquers ($24 each and available in 20 shades) to a group of gum-smacking, eye-rolling tweens, although, really, there’s no way I’m going to make it past 75 with my sanity intact.

I can see myself handing down vintage tubes of my go-to colors to my favorite granddaughter — let’s call her Jem because she has pink hair and sings lead in a punk rock band — while telling her tales of my legendary adventures with my legendary cat.

Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer from the top to bottom: Beet It, Pink Social, Rosewater and Legendary

From top to bottom, Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquers in Beet It, Pink Social, Rosewater and Legendary

But, alas, it wasn’t meant to be. My dearest Jem will not be acquiring her feisty granny’s beloved and precious tubes of Be Legendary Lip Lacquer. She will, instead, get amusing anecdotes meant to teach her life lessons, as well as a few pieces of stale butterscotch hard candy. :)

Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer in Pink Social

Pink Social, a warm pink

Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer in Beet It

Beet It, a deep purple

Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer in Legendary

Legendary, a blueish red

Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer in Rosewater, a warm light pink

Rosewater, a cool light pink

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Have You Tried the Tricky Grinder? Gotta Get Loose With Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush In Bloom

Published in: Face, Makeup, Product Reviews, Smashbox

Wearing Smashbox's Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom ($24) on my cheeks

Wearing Smashbox’s Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom ($24) on my cheeks


TRICKY GRINDER — in the mix!

I know, “tricky grinder” sounds like a DJ name, right? Like some guy spinning at da club on a Tuesday night. Normally, you wouldn’t go because it’s a school night, but sometimes you just gotta dance.


Sorry to burst your house music bubble, but today’s “tricky grinder” is not in reference to spinning the phat jamz.

It’s the contraption that is both a blessing — and a curse — of these $24 Halo Long Wear Blushes by Smashbox.

Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom

Matte warm pink In Bloom, one of the six Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blushes

Come on, baby, let’s do the twist

You might remember seeing these Halo Longwear Blushes before. They first bounced on the scene in 2013. I took a look at them then but didn’t give them a good try until this week. Now they’re available in six shades for $24 each.

The one I’m wearing in the picture at the top is one of them, In Bloom, a natural-looking matte warm pink.

Solid blushes that come in a jar with an attached cheese grater-like thingamabobber, they let you easily control how much loose powder you use. Just twist the inner ring like a pepper grinder to shave some of the solid blush into the pan.

Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush in In Bloom closeup

A closeup of the grinding contraption…

Big surprise! I get a weird kick out of this. When I use the twisty top, I feel like I’m earning my blush, like I’m a pioneer on the plains, planting, growing and gathering fresh non-GMO vegetables in my garden and sh*t. But with makeup.

Why loose blush?

I’m usually not a big fan of loose powder blushes because they can be super messy, and I’m super clumsy, but I love the way they look. I know it sounds like a bunch o’ hooey, but I’ve been taking makeup pictures of myself pretty much daily for eight years, and I see a distinct difference between the way that loose and solid powder blushes appear on my skin. Loose powders just seem to have that certain something, that je ne sais quoi, that solid powder blushes generally lack.

Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blush In Bloom, one of the six available shades, looks amazeballs on skin, both in pics and real life. I like this particular matte pink because it’s forgiving (doesn’t emphasize pores) and fantastic for pics. Wear it, and your cheeks will be the envy of all the baby cherubs, son. On top of that, its 14-hour wear time kicks so much @ss. I’m talking solid color from start to finish, with minimal fading.

A couple of Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blushes with a MAC Lipglass for sale

A couple of the six available Smashbox Halo Long Wear Blushes next to a MAC Lipglass for scale…

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Smashbox Full Exposure Waterproof Mascara Totally One-Ups the Non-Waterproof Version

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, Product Reviews, Smashbox

Smashbox Full Exposure Waterproof Mascara

The new Smashbox Full Exposure Waterproof Mascara, $20, available now in one shade, Jet Black

Smashbox’s latest waterproof wunderkind, the brand-spankin’-new Full Exposure Waterproof Mascara ($20), earns the Raging Hormone Stamp of Approval (also known as the R.H.S.A in less formal circles).

In my testing this week, it withstood not one, not two, but THREE spontaneous PMS-fueled crying fits.

One of those fits may have been triggered by sad-looking, slow-motion kittens on YouTube, but that’s a topic I’d rather not analyze right now…

Full Exposure Waterproof Mascara is the waterproof alter ego of Smashbox’s original Full Exposure Mascara, which my BFF Jen happens to be obsessed with. We’ve had a surprising number of text convos that reference that O.G. version (“It’s good work makeup and doesn’t smudge.”), but to be honest, I’ve always felt that the original one is just OK. I like the color but feel like the formula doesn’t hold a curl as well as I’d like.

Smashbox Full Exposure Waterproof Mascara

This waterproof Clark Kent-ian alter ego version, however, does. It lifts curls like Atlas lifts the earth and lasts at least 10-12 hours. It gives good length, volume and separation; plus, it’s even more resistant to smudging and flaking than the non-waterproof version.

As far as the lash look itself, I love it. It’s dramatic but doesn’t go over the top. I’d say it’s about two drag queens, a martini and a pair of Swarovski crystal-encrusted roller skates shy of the MEGA GLAM look I get from Guerlain’s Cils D’Enfer Waterproof, which is my current out-to-THERE waterproof mascara, but I think both are great. Full Exposure Waterproof just happens to be better for a slightly less flashy lash look.

Smashbox Full Exposure Waterproof Mascara before and after

Before and after two coats

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Will New Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer Help Your Shadows Stay Strong While You Dance Till Dawn?

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, Product Reviews, Smashbox

Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer

New Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer ($20) and a sultry tabby’s tum

It’s been a while since the last time I wore the same makeup for a full 24 hours.

I seem to recall something about a nightclub and having to run a race early the next morning. But, as these things sometimes go, one thing led to another, and pretty soon eating French fries at the witching hour seemed like a really good idea (“I’m carbo loading!”).

Oh, hell yeah!

Then you’re doing the robot at the End Up (the club where you “end up” when all the other clubs in San Francisco close) while the sun is rising outside…


If you’re all about that 24-hour, French-fry-eating, robot-dancing life, or you just like wearing eyeshadow all day, errr-day, the new 24 Hour Photo Finish Eye Primer by Smashbox says, “Hey, girl, haaay!

Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer

Tabs is all about the 3 a.m.-gravy-eating life, yo

That’s a name with a bold claim right there. It’s supposed to lock your shadow down for 24 hours, even under extreme conditions — perspiration, high humidity, thunder showers, you name it. It also promises to amplify the vibrancy of any shadows worn with it and prevent creasing and smudging.

Just give it a squeeze (the tube, not the tabby’s tum), and apply a thin layer of the colorless primer to your lids. Wait 30 seconds for it to dry, then go at it with your brushes and shadows.

Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer

I’ve been using it for about a week now with powder shadows, creams and various eye combos, because girlfriend likes to play. :)

The smooth formula feels wonderful — like a silky eye cream — and doesn’t change the color of the shadows I layer on top.

Everything stays true.

Unblended (left) and blended (right)

Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer

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The New Smashbox Full Exposure Palette, Also Known as the Mullet of the Neutral Palette World

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews, Smashbox

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

Wearing the new Smashbox Full Exposure Palette on my eyes

I know what you’re probably thinking… Cats are the most incredible animals to have ever walked the earth.

Wait — that’s not what you were thinking? Oops! Sorry, my bad. :)

After seeing my eye look in the top pic, you might be thinking, “Good grief! Another neutral eye palette, Karen?”

OK, fair enough, but before you leave to pet your cat, who for unknown reasons decided to grace you with his presence today (SHOCKER), hold on a sec.

This new Smashbox Full Exposure palette is like the mullet of neutral eyeshadow palettes! — and I mean that in the best possible way — except that instead of being all party in the front and business in the back, it’s party on the top and business on the bottom. Equal parts play and work.

We’re talking major possibilities.

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

Shimmers on the top row and mattes on the bottom

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette Box

The palette also includes a dual-ended brush and a mini mascara

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette Packaging

The front of the palette’s packaging

Full Exposure and I spent last weekend together. Just the two of us (and El Hub). On Friday night, we did a cool-toned smokey eye (like what I’m wearing in these pics) and went out to dinner. Then on Saturday we did a nude shimmery lid with a little liner, stayed home, did laundry and watched Game of Thrones (the palette is not a fan of House Lannister). I whipped up this warm brown cat eye while unsuccessfully trying to stop Tabs from jumping into a pile of clean shirts and jeans that needed to be folded…

On Sunday I just kept things simple with a nude matte lid and a smidgen of brown liner along my upper and lower lash lines.

So many possibilities!

And with all of the looks I tried, I still always felt like me, and not like “me with a sh*t-ton of eye makeup on,” if that makes any sense.

Full Exposure is one of those palettes that packs just enough pigment to define and call attention to my lids, but not so much that I feel like a rodeo clown…

Hahaha! I just totally made myself laugh. :)

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

That’s NARS Lustre Blush and BECCA Opal highlighter on my cheeks, and MAC Boldly Bare Lip Pencil and MAC Evolution Revolution Lipglass (LOVE) on my lips

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